Earlier this year, I reported on how Warner would not be releasing new movies to Netflix, imposing a 28-day delay in order to drive DVD sales instead of rentals. However, Blockbuster still has Warner movies available during that month, and they’re trying to make a big deal of that in their advertising. (Whatever they can do to stay relevant, right?)
Now comes news that Netflix has cut the same deal with Fox and Universal. Once again, it doesn’t seem to bother many customers. Netflix users are used to building queues and getting movies they’re interested in whenever they’re available, so all this does is reset their perceived release date. There are so many choices out there that there’s no reason to be held hostage to what studios want. I doubt this is a compelling enough reason to convince customers to go back to driving to the video store (if they still even have one nearby), paying the cost of a used DVD they could own to borrow it for a few days, assuming it’s even in stock, and having to drive back to return it. That behavior pattern has been broken long ago.